Veteran athletes converged at a sports arena in the city of Saga from all over Japan for the Japan Masters Athletics Championship for track and field athletes aged 35 and up. Mitsu Morita was specially commemorated as having participated in the most meets and being the oldest participating woman. On the first day of the meet, she set a new world record in the 60-meter dash for 90 to 94-year-olds. In the 100 meters, on the second day, she made a determined effort to compete against those in their eighties, as the race was combined with this lower-age class. While she set an astonishing new Japanese record in this race, her face clouded over as she failed to beat the world record. She regrets being caught up in winning and not focusing on the record. Her one and only goal is to smash the world record. Since she turned 70, she has practiced with children at a local track and field club for elementary school children under the guidance of their coach. Her rivals were new 1st grade girls. When she was younger, Mitsu Morita married a colleague who worked with her at the Yatsushiro city hall. The in-laws ran a family business that manufactured artificial flowers for funerals. As she helped out the business, she developed an interest in and enthusiasm for business in general and left her work as a civil servant to work in the business full-time. Together with her husband, who also resigned from his job, she continued expanding the business, first to providing funerary services and then on to wedding center management. What enabled her to retire from management without leaving any loose ends is the steadfast succession of the business to her daughter, her daughter’s husband and her eldest son, who together are continuing to expand it. There is no obstacle in the way of the one who has her eyes fixed on a new world record in the 100-meters this year.

Mitsu Morita

Born in 1923, in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture. After graduating Yatsushiro Girls’ High School, she started work at the Yatsushiro City Hall. In 1948, she founded the Morita Kireido (predecessor of IZUMOSOGYO) with her husband, Tetsuo. She is the world record holder for the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash (as of 2013 September 15) in her age group.
Cooperation: Japan Masters Athletics, Track and Field Club Yatsushiro KAC, Yatsushiro White Palace, Seiko Yamamoto (Chairperson in Yatsushiro City Katei Rinri Association, RINRI Institute of Ethics)

Spirit and Spine
‘Kitohone’

created by
THE SPIRIT AND SPINE
CREATIVE FORCE,Tokyo

project direction
Gaku Okubo (ISUKE INC.)
photography
Yoshitomo Tanaka (Vivot)
site design
ISUKE INC. and ICA
title calligraphy
Kenryo Hara (Kikkokai)